Articles written by Larry Persily

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 By Larry Persily    News    December 2, 2021

Wrangell suffers first COVID death as it sets monthly record for cases

Wrangell marked two milestones in the fight against COVID-19 in November: The first death attributed to the highly infectious disease in the community, and a record number of new infections. The borough on Monday reported the death. To protect the...

 

COVID presents lesson in health care jobs

Sometimes, connecting the dots is the best way to learn. The first set of dots cost $87 million in federal pandemic aid money. That’s the price of the contract the state signed with an Atlanta-based for-profit health care staffing firm to provide...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    November 24, 2021 

Almost 40% of eligible Wrangell teens fully vaccinated

As of Monday, 38% of Wrangell youth ages 12 through 17 had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, less than the statewide average of 48%, according to state health department statistics. The national rate is about 60%, according to the federal...

 

Shrinking labor force is not good for Wrangell

I am not an economist, though I like learning and thinking about economic problems. Nor am I a statistician, human resources manager or director of hiring at a business. But I do think a lot about why so many employers in Wrangell, around the state...

 

Wrangell at 51 cases this month; a new record for COVID

Wrangell has set a pandemic record for the community for the number of COVID-19 cases in a month, reporting on Thursday its 50th and 51st infections in the first 18 days of November. The old record of 48 was set in August. Amid the surge in new... Full story

 

Corroded steel delays Matanuska return by two weeks

The 58-year-old state ferry Matanuska will spend an additional two weeks in a Ketchikan shipyard so that workers can repair and replace corroded steel discovered below deck. The Kennicott will help cover Southeast during the vessel’s absence. The M...

 

Happy 119th birthday to the Sentinel

I don’t celebrate my own birthday — gave that up when I grew up and mom stopped giving me money to take all my friends bowling at Dom DeVito’s Lanes, where the bar was off-limits but it still felt cool to put our pop bottles in the same...

 

Second round of WCA pandemic assistance grants available

Wrangell Cooperative Association members are eligible for a second round of pandemic assistance grants for food and utility expenses, with applications due by Nov. 30. The assistance payments will be $1,000 per household for groceries and $1,000 for...

 

Wrangell's trash masher and baler is on the job

Loose trash goes in and comes out in compact, 50-cubic-foot bales, strapped up and ready to ship out of state. The combination masher and baler has been at work at Wrangell’s trash transfer station since late October. Rather than shipping out loose...

 

Petersburg hit by COVID outbreak

While Wrangell has counted 11 new COVID-19 infections in the past week, Petersburg was at 69 active cases as of late Monday, with a mandatory face mask order in place and public buildings closed. Almost 20% of COVID tests administered in Petersburg...

 

Accuracy and fairness count in headlines, too

About 40 years ago, the Sentinel published a news story about how the U.S. Forest Service was going to start moving against illegal squatter cabins on the Stikine River. Seemed reasonable that the agency would enforce the law and evict people who...

 

Wrangell remains in legislative district with Ketchikan

The Alaska Redistricting Board has adopted a new map of legislative districts for the state, keeping Wrangell and Ketchikan in the same district. The board had considered other proposals that would have put Wrangell in with Sitka, not Ketchikan, alon...

 

Juneau may extend tax collection to sales aboard cruise ships

The Juneau assembly will consider an ordinance that would amend the borough’s sales tax code to collect on goods and services sold aboard cruise ships, whether tied to the dock or anchored in front of town. The ordinance would amend a provision in...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    November 4, 2021

Vaccinations for children could be available next week

With approval from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinations against COVID-19 for children ages 5 through 11 could be available in Wrangell next week. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week approved the vaccine for...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    November 4, 2021

Alaska Airlines works toward full staffing, flight schedule by end of the year

Alaska Airlines would like to be back to 2019 staffing levels and flight schedules by the end of the year. "That's our goal," Tim Thompson, company spokesman in Anchorage, said Monday. From the worst of the pandemic-induced collapse in air travel in...

 

Supply chain shortages make me nutty

It’s OK with me if there are few cars to buy. My VW Beetle is more than 15 years old, but only has 72,000 miles on it, so I’m in no hurry. Besides, I like the stick shift and the CD player. And I am particularly fond of the “check engine...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 28, 2021

Small COVID outbreak in Wrangell; large numbers persist statewide

While Wrangell experienced a small outbreak of community-spread cases over the weekend, Alaska continues to lead the nation in new COVID-19 cases per capita. The state health department reported more than 2,400 new cases Friday through Monday,...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 28, 2021

SEARHC reports 100% compliance with vaccination policy

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium reports 100% compliance with its policy requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees and contractors. “Very few have left employment due to the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine,” Maegan Bosak, a...

 

Tax Facebook, just like alcohol and tobacco

The nation responded to the harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption and instituted Prohibition in 1920. The idea was that people could not police themselves, the police could not protect people from the corruption and crime associated with...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 28, 2021

Communities vary their spending of $10 million cruise line gift

The six Alaska communities that shared in a $10 million pandemic-relief gift from Norwegian Cruise Line have found various ways to spend the money — or save it for later. Seward committed much of its share to help provide child care services....

 

A 100-foot track to nowhere is no railroad

Businesses have learned over the years how to steer around government rules, avoiding many of the requirements that will cost them money. Nothing necessarily illegal about that unless the company goes so far over the line that even the federal...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 21, 2021

Wrangell working to coordinate Institute property search

The borough will be asking for “archaeological proposals” for a ground survey of the former Wrangell Institute property, consulting with state and federal agencies and the Wrangell Cooperative Association on the process before any work begins....

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 21, 2021

Wrangell doing better at limiting COVID

Wrangell’s vaccination rate continues to improve, while just two new COVID-19 cases were reported in the first 19 days of the month and people continue asking the borough for free face masks. The community’s low numbers are much improved over...

 

Blaming the media is the real fake news

Every kid should learn from their parents the modern way to avoid responsibility for misdeeds and missed homework. When you fail or do something stupid or dishonest or regretful, or just don’t like the way the world is spinning that day or how the...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    October 14, 2021

COVID case count starts heading down in Alaska

Cases are starting to come down in Alaska after weeks of record-setting COVID-19 infections across the state. After averaging almost 1,250 new cases a day Sept. 21-27 — far above the numbers of the previous record of last December — the...

 

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